He recalls: “In 2004, I sold the company to a private equity interest and remained as a consultant to the new owners for two years. I then wanted to pursue a career that allowed me to work to my own timetable on a smaller scale without the concerns and responsibilities of running a larger organisation.
“Having looked at a number of smaller going concerns that were available for acquisition, I came across Auditel and immediately understood the concept. I met Head Office staff and spoke to a number of existing Affiliates. The quality of the people involved within the organisation reinforced my view that the Auditel proposition was worth exploring.”
In November 2011, Chris joined the Auditel Cost Management Franchise, becoming a consultant in their 200-strong network. He says: “The quality of training and support received from Auditel both from Head Office and from within the network was excellent from Day 1!”
One of the major advantages for an organisation to engage Auditel to manage their costs is their collective industry knowledge and experience. So when another Auditel Consultant was asked to investigate a client’s packaging costs, he decided to call in Chris, his colleague.
Chris explains: “They were manufacturing whiteboards and noticeboards and spending £90,000 per year on cardboard and packaging sundries. While reducing these costs was one objective, I was keen to establish other benefits too. So my initial meetings were very consultative. This enabled me to demonstrate my credibility and earn their trust through my advice on specifications and materials.”
His approach really impressed the owners. It was obvious from the start that his focus wasn’t simply finding the same packaging material at a cheaper price. He had a genuine interest in helping them to improve their packaging and to reduce the costs associated with damaged products as well.
Chris was armed with a detailed background knowledge and understanding of their specific needs. He put his 25-years’ worth of experience to use in exploring both the design of the packaging and alternative materials to improve product protection during transit and storage.
Crucially, Chris’s inside knowledge was the key to obtaining improved prices without compromising the client’s existing supplier relationships. The client acknowledged that ‘they could not have safely navigated the challenges and intricacies of the industry themselves’!
Chris observed: “Few businesses possess Auditel’s pool of detailed product and supplier knowledge. This often helps to identify significant reductions in their clients’ cost structure. In this example, I identified savings of 17% (£12,500) on the cardboard costs and 36% on packaging sundries, giving total annual savings of £14,500. We are also confident that damaged product returns will decrease as a result. One of the largest savings came from redesigning a particular box.
Progress in the marketplace
“I have a group of clients with a number of projects either completed or underway. Significant savings have been found, including their packaging expenditure, with one in excess of £30k per annum. Several other projects have been completed in respect of Electricity, Waste, Stationery and Merchant Card processing generating good savings of up to £10k per annum. I intend to continue to expand my portfolio of clients and the scope of the projects that I undertake.”
Highlights of being an Auditel franchisee
Chris presents Packaging solutions at Regional and National Conferences. He says: “I am very proud of being nominated for the prestigious ‘Consultant’s Consultant of the Year Award’ last year!”
Established in 1994, Auditel is the UK and Ireland’s largest and fastest growing cost, purchase and supplier management franchise opportunity, with a network of over two hundred highly-skilled specialists. Auditel Affiliates renew their franchises after 5, 10 and now 15 years due to consistently achieving their financial goals. The network turnover has grown by 192% since 2007.Their higher earners enjoy an income of over £200k.